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What You'll Be Driving A Decade From Now

In the future you might be driving a diesel hybrid, fuel cell or perhaps an industrial-sized popcorn popper, a la the Courreges ZOOOP pictured below.

Published: 22-Jun-2006

This year, Paris played host to the eighth annual Michelin Challenge Bibendum, a gathering of auto manufacturers, researchers, inventors, and free thinkers from all over the globe to explore the idea of "Sustainable Mobility." In other words, how can humans transport themselves in an earth-friendly fashion as the oil supply slows to a trickle?

But as I was standing on the Champ de Mars in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the most important thing on my mind was finding a way to escape the sweltering June heat. Appropriately enough, help arrived in the form of an air-conditioned Saturn VUE hybrid that was being displayed at the Challenge.

I introduced myself to the driver, Steven Tarnowsky, who it turns out is the assistant chief engineer for Saturn's Green Line hybrid VUE. Within minutes I was cooling off in the front seat as I agreed to accompany Tarnowsky on the 60km drive to the CERAM (Montefontaine Automobile Test & Research Center) test track. Thankfully, he did turn-by-turn navigation during the leg of the rally. By the way, the 2007 Green Line gets 30 mpg plus on the highway and costs about $23,000, making it the least expensive, highest-mileage, compact hybrid SUV.

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